As you know the low fodmap protocol, is very close to my heart. This was a protocol that helped heal my gut for good. However, the reintroduction phase was the most nerve-wracking phase. After feeling so good digestively, the idea of triggering a flare-up doesn’t sound good. However, this guide will help you to do the low fodmap reintroduction phase effectively!
With an elimination diet, it is very important to reintroduce those foods. Especially with low fodmap because these foods are critical for gut flora diversity. It has been found that being low fodmap for too long is can cause damage to the large intestines.
With SIBO, the bacteria in your small intestines aren’t necessarily bad. The issue is that bacteria should be somewhere else in your digestive tract. By restricting fodmaps, it will help to remove the bacteria. However, we need those fodmaps for our gut flora.
What are fodmaps?
Fodmaps are small-chain carbohydrates that are difficult for our digestive system to break down. The acronym stands for:
- Oligosaccharides – Fructans and Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS)
- Disaccharides – Lactose (milk sugars)
- Monosaccharides – Excess Fructose
- Polyols – Sugar Alcohols (mannitol and sorbitol)
What are high fodmap foods?
These are foods rich in specific fodmaps that are often avoided during phase 1 of the fodmap protocol. This includes:
- Fructans – Watermelon, ripe bananas, dates, onions, beets, fennel and so on.
- GOS – Chickpeas, lentils, cashews, pistachios, soy products, and so on.
- Lactose – Kefir, milk, yogurt, ice cream, custard, and so on.
- Excess Fructose – Apples, honey, pears, mangos, figs, and so on.
- Polyols – Apricots, blackberries, peaches, cauliflower, and so on.
As you can see a lot of these healthy foods may not be healthy if your gut isn’t healed. What is critical about these foods is that they contain fiber and prebiotics.
We want the prebiotics to feed our good bacteria. In our gut alone, we have tens of trillions of microorganisms. Some pertain to all humans and some are specific to us. Essentially our intestines have their own fingerprint.
What are the benefits of a diverse microbiome?
There are key benefits to having a diverse microbiome such as:
- Aiding in digesting fibers and carbohydrates other areas of the digestive tract can’t.
- It can help to create vitamins such as B and K.
- Help to remove/prevent bad microorganisms from growing.
- Boosts our immune system.
- Ensure our digestion flows efficiently.
As you can see it isn’t the fodmaps that make you sick. It is the bacteria, yeast, and/or parasites that make you sick. Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of a fodmap is more important than the type.
For example, broccoli is a high fodmap food and when reintroducing you may find that you can eat a 1/2 cup, but not a cup. Sometimes it is just too much of that food that your digestive tract can’t handle.
And you will most likely find fodmaps that simply don’t work with your body. That is absolutely okay!
How to Start the Low Fodmap Reintroduction Phase
There are two ways to begin reintroducing fodmap foods. You can reintroduce over a 3-day period or all in 1-day.
What you would do is start on say a Monday and you would gradually increase the serving sizes over 3-days. An example of this is:
- Monday – 1/4 an Avocado
- Tuesday 1/2 an Avocado
- Wednesday – 1 whole Avocado
Then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are washout days. These are days you go back to a low fodmap lifestyle to let your body reset.
This is exactly like the 3-day reintroduction period except all in one day. Using the example above, your day would look like this (or similar):
- First Meal – 1/8 an Avocado
- Second Meal – 1/4 an Avocado
- Third Meal – 1/2 an Avocado
Over the course of the day, you ate between 1-1.5 avocado(s). Then the next day you would relax, before reintroducing a different food on the third day.
Between the two, the 1-day is a more aggressive reintroduction. Source: Here
sample foods to reintroduce
This is a general list to try broken down by the type of carbohydrate. I highly recommend the Monash University FODMAP Diet app! It gives loads of foods, how much to eat for it to be low fodmap and more.
- 1 teaspoon of honey increasing to 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1/4 a medium-sized mango increasing to a full medium mango
- 3 blackberries increasing to 10 blackberries
- 1/4 of an avocado increasing to a whole avocado
- 1 fresh apricot as it also contains fructose
- 1/2 portobello mushroom increasing to 1/2 cup of mushrooms
- 100g of sweet potato increasing to 200g
- 30g cauliflower increasing to 90g
- 125ml milk increasing to 375ml
- 1 scoop icecream increasing to 3 scoops
- 200ml of plain yogurt
*If you choose to consume dairy make sure it is coming from a high-quality source. Look for raw, organic, grass-fed dairy products.
Fructan (Bread, Cereals, Grains)**
- 1 slice of white wheat bread increasing to 3 slices
- 50g wheat pasta increasing to 150g (use the cooked weight)
**I personally don’t believe we need gluten at all. However, if you choose to consume it aim for sourdough, organic, sprouted products.
- 1/4 of a clove of garlic increasing to 1 clove
- 1/4 cup of medium leek to a 1/2 whole leek
- 1 tbsp onion to 1/2 an onion
- 2 tbsp of chickpeas and increasing to 6 tbsps
- 2 tbsps of black beans and increasing to 6 tbsps
- 15 almonds to 25 almonds
- 2 tbsps boiled red lentils and increasing 1/2 cup cooked
Fructose and Sorbitol
- 1/2 an apple and increasing to a full apple
- 1/2 a pear and increasing to a full pear
what do I do if I have a reaction?
If you experience symptoms, you immediately stop the reintroduction. This doesn’t mean you need to start the protocol all over. It simply means that that specific food was too much.
It could have been the food itself or the amount of food. Going back to the avocado example, you may feel great with 1/2 an avocado, but a whole one is too much for you.
Something you can do to ease the symptoms and reset your gut:
- Colostrum – 1,000mg
- L-Glutamate – 1,500mg
- Collagen Powder – 2 scoop
- Bone Broth
- Ginger Tea
- Peppermint Tea
- DigestZen in a veggie capsule
- Heating Pad
You don’t have to do all of these, but these have been my go-to’s for flare-ups. And once you feel better and have no symptoms is when you can try a different fodmap.
Modified fodmap diet
Once you have completed the reintroduction phase, you’ll have created a modified fodmap diet. You have found foods that trigger symptoms based on the type to how much of it you can eat.
I hope this makes reintroducing fodmaps a lot easier. I remember how overwhelming it was as you wanted to eat everything, but not trying to feel like sh*t.
Thank youu so much for reading and I’d love it if you’d share this with others in the same situation!
**This information is not meant as medical or nutritional advice. Always check with your qualified healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements or nutritional changes into your routine. A Primal Health Coach (PHC) is trained to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations for dietary changes and nutritional supplements. A PHC is unable to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition. I cannot guarantee any specific result from recommendations as we are all bio-individually different. If you are under the care of a healthcare provider, it is important that you contact them and alert them to any changes in your lifestyle in regards to nutrition and supplements. A health coach may be a beneficial addition to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.